SATURDAY, 6 NOVEMBER at 9 AM / IN CONVERSATION WITH SARAH BLAKE
Sarah Winman, Still Life
I hadn't read more than a page or two of Sarah Winman's new novel, Still Life, before I began to imagine how much I was going to enjoying re-reading it. It's just that lovely and good and immediately captivating!
Still Life is a bighearted, richly tapestried story of people brought together by love, war, art, flood, and the ghost of E. M. Forster, by the celebrated author of Tin Man.
Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn Skinner, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her own youth. In each other, Ulysses and Evelyn find a kindred spirit amidst the rubble of war-torn Italy, and set off on a course of events that will shape Ulysses’s life for the next four decades.
Ulysses returns home to London, immersing himself in his crew at The Stoat and Parrot—a motley mix of pub crawlers and eccentrics—but carries his time in Italy with him. When an unexpected inheritance brings him back to where it all began, Ulysses knows better than to tempt fate, and returns to the Tuscan hills.
With beautiful prose, extraordinary tenderness, and bursts of humor and light, Still Life is a sweeping portrait of unforgettable individuals who come together to make a family, and a deeply drawn celebration of beauty and love in all its forms.